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Jun-30-2007 17:10printcommentsVideo

Oregon Medical Marijuana Doctor Tells All: Q&A Part 6 (VIDEO)

Phillip Leveque has spent his life as a Combat Infantryman, Physician and Toxicologist.

The Doctors View

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - In the sixth installment of this special series on Medical Marijuana in Oregon, WWII combat vet turned physician Dr. Phil Leveque discusses the various medical benefits with special emphasis on high blood pressure, thyroid disorders and their medical relationship with marijuana.

Leveque also talks about a Kaiser Permanente study on cancer from a few years ago, that indicates marijuana smokers are no more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers of any type.

Below is a written transcript of the sixth installment of this special series. This is an ongoing question and answer segment that allows people to email a question to Dr. Leveque at and learn the answer to that question in a future segment with Dr. Leveque and Bonnie King of

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION FOR DR. LEVEQUE? Email: or simply write a comment at the bottom of the page. You do not have to use your real name if you are not comfortable doing so. We will do our best to have your questions addressed in upcoming segments.

EDITOR'S NOTE: does not advocate any illegal activity. This special segment is geared completely toward exploring the legal use of marijuana as a medical treatment. Dr. Phillip Leveque's opinions and advice are intended only as such, and his statements are strictly his own, and do not represent the opinions or policies of

This is the full transcript from the video. You will see the video screen when you scroll to the bottom of the page.

Bonnie: "Welcome to the sixth segment in our ongoing series on Medical Marijuana and questions and answers with Dr. Phil Leveque, the leading expert in the state of Oregon. Dr. Leveque, today we're going to ask you questions that have come in from our visitors online and we'll just get right to them because we've been promising people that we will get to these questions every week and sometimes we go on about other things that are terribly important."

Dr: Leveque: "Very good, the more the merrier".

Bonnie: "We know that medical marijuana can cause an increased heart rate". This person wants to know, 'My wife has smoked marijuana for many years, well over twenty. She's been in good health but she suffered a stroke recently.' and they want to know, 'Could her smoking have marijuana have caused high blood pressure, could that have contributed to her having a stroke?'"

Dr: Leveque: "No, as far as the police are concerned, one of the signs of marijuana use is blood shot eyes. Marijuana causes a dilation of the blood vessels and when it causes blood vessel dilation your blood pressure goes down and because it goes down by a reflex the heart rate increases, but it acts as a sort of what we call a homeostatic modulator to try to get everything on what we would call a normal, even keel. So its very unlikely and we've had lots of stroke patients who use marijuana."

Bonnie: "OK, Here's another one. 'I've heard that people that use marijuana regularly can become apathetic and lose weight. How do they control the affects of marijuana if no doctor actually knows how much they use?'"

Dr: Leveque: "That's a very interesting question and first of all; there is no dose for marijuana because there are probably 200 or 300 different strains, each one of them different from the rest. And what we tell people is take the inhalations of marijuana until you reach the effect desired but don't take any more than that. Now one of the so called 'adverse side effects' of marijuana is to increase the appetite. Well actually this is used by people on cancer chemotherapy or HIV/AIDS increasing their appetite and it actually keeps them alive. Now this business about 'apathetic,' that is the sedation effect of marijuana. So yes, people get apathetic, they comfortable and sedated so that's apathy and the appetite stimulation, that's beneficial for most people."

Bonnie: "OK, you've suggested that patients use vaporizers but we know that a lot of people do smoke marijuana, so this person asks, 'Are there any cases of lung cancer at all associated with smoking marijuana and if not, why not?'"

Dr: Leveque: "Approximately ten years ago, Kaiser Permanente Medical... whatever they call themselves, did a study on 40,000 cannabis users and 20,000 people who didn't even smoke tobacco, and they found out that there was no, essentially no difference between the lung cancer between the marijuana users and the people who have never used anything. Now, this does require a bit of an explanation; first of all, the canabanoids are suppressing for cancer, actually. So under the circumstances, it would be very unusual that if it suppressed cancer, that it would cause cancer."

Bonnie: "So we know that it doesn't cause cancer for that reason, what about carcinogens, how does that factor in here?"

Dr: Leveque: "When you burn organic material, whether its marijuana or whether it's tobacco or even alfalfa, it does produce carcinogens, so we advise people to use a vaporizer which releases the medical substances but does not cause the carcinogenic substances."

Bonnie: "Well OK, here's another one from a longtime marijuana patient; 'Perfect breathing capacity, I've been for many years, but I have an underactive thyroid.' And he's concerned that there could be a connection. Do you see a connection between a thyroid and somebody who has been using marijuana for many years?"

Dr: Leveque: "One of the rather unusual medical conditions I found with people that have high thyroids and when they have high thyroids their eyeballs have a tendency to push out and it's extremely painful. They use marijuana to cut down on the toxic effects too much thyroid. Now, I don't think there is any connection whatsoever between a low thyroid and any adverse affects of marijuana."

Bonnie: "OK, well here's an interesting one for you and we've had a lot of feedback about this; the governor of Connecticut recently vetoed a medical marijuana bill and she said that the Multiple Sclerosis, Glaucoma and Cancer Societies all rejected marijuana use to treat those things. Now is that true and why would that be true?"

Dr: Leveque: "She definitely found people that were against the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Now, I had at least 40 glaucoma patients who swore marijuana was better than any anti-glaucoma medicine they had ever used, the same goes for Multiple Sclerosis and what was the other one?"

Bonnie: "Oh, well it was cancer."

Dr: Leveque: "In the state of Oregon and almost every other state where marijuana has been legalized, cancer is one of the disease conditions for which you can get a permit to use medical marijuana, so this poor lady got some very, very bad advice from a whole bunch of people who didn't have the slightest idea what they were talking about."

Bonnie: "What could the motivations have been to put forth such information"?

Dr: Leveque: "Doctors like to have patients come into their offices because I understand the patients pay, or the insurance companies pays, so it is a financial matter. The name of the game is to follow the money and in this case it was followed all the way to the governor's office."

Bonnie: "OK, one more, and this one may take people by surprise, but there is actually some information out there, and truthful or not you have to clear this up for us; does marijuana use cause male breast enhancement?"

Dr: Leveque: "Breast enhancement in males is probably cause more from the munchies, the increase in appetite, and they put on weight. But if marijuana caused breast enhancement in males it would also cause it in females, and so I can just imagine that if females heard about this they would probably be smoking marijuana like mad, just to increase their breast size."

Bonnie: "Or somebody might be asking them to anyhow."

Dr: Leveque: "Yeah, I think that's true, yes."

Bonnie: "Where do you think that kind of information comes from, this is typically, actually being taught in classes?"

Dr: Leveque: "Well just like I say, marijuana does increase your appetite and you're going to gain weight, and if you gain weight you're going to gain weight all over, including your breasts, whether you're male or female. But if it happens in males it certainly happens in females, and I don't think so, I'd have to ask more women about that, but as far as I know no women ever complained about it was causing the enlargement of their breasts"

Bonnie: "OK, thanks for clearing that up for us. If you have any questions for Dr. Leveque on the topic of medical marijuana or other toxicology questions, please send them to I'm Bonnie King for"



DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION FOR DR. LEVEQUE? Email: or simply write a comment at the bottom of the page. You do not have to use your real name if you are not comfortable doing so. We will do our best to have your questions addressed in upcoming segments.

Phillip Leveque is a physician, toxicologist and WWII Combat Infantryman. Watch for his video question and answer segments about medical marijuana with Bonnie King.
You can email your questions to the doctor:

Other articles and video segments about medical marijuana on

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

parmar October 10, 2011 3:11 am (Pacific time)

Forget about all kind of lost and win stuff and just think for cannabis and marijuana highs and buy drugs for that from given below site name please go on legal-highs !!!!

shaun September 27, 2010 10:14 am (Pacific time)

i have high blood pressure and take medicine for it .will smoking weed be bad for it /will eating it be bad for it

AngelOregoncoast March 25, 2010 3:00 pm (Pacific time)

I'm having alot of trouble with High blood pressure and a fast Pulse .. tried 5 different medicines so far .. the side effects from them make me feel worse than i did before i started treatment for high blood pressure. would medical marijuana help me. i'd rather take something natural than what i'm being given !!!!!

jeremy February 17, 2010 7:34 pm (Pacific time)

I was told in hi school(Mcnarey high) that marjona hase six times the amount of tar than tabaco ..... is this true?

Editor: Jeremy, that is a matter of debate, and Dr. Leveque is not available to answer your question but will be in a couple of days.  He says smoking anything is bad for a person, and that eating medical marijuana or using a vaporizer is a better idea.  I don't know of too many people who have died of cancer who were exclusively pot smokers, that doesn't mean anything really, but I look forward to the day this research exists.  In the meanwhile, I think the answer remains elusive, I would only suggest that there is probably no real knowledge of the six times figure you cited, sounds like government propaganda, but it might truly be bad, so error on the side of caution, and only use medical marijuana legally, thanks.

Helpless in Indiana December 8, 2009 7:50 pm (Pacific time)

I am a single person with Fibromyalgia and can't afford insurance. I did qualify for a heath center, but this year I am over income. I am weaning off of Cymbalta120mg, Lyrica 450mg, Darvocet 2,000mg, and soma1050mg daily dosages. I have smoked for many years and it has helped with pain, sleeping, eating, and daily functions. Do you have many patients who use medical marijuana for Fibromyalgia???? And if so do they have success without all the other chemicals doctors give patients like me?

aaron August 2, 2009 9:16 pm (Pacific time)

Screw kevin mannix

curious July 22, 2008 2:06 pm (Pacific time)

Hello, quick question for you, i'm a 26 year old female and i weigh 95 lbs and stand 5ft 4 in. I'm not binging or purging, i just have a loss of appetite, along with that nausea and migraines, i have a dr. appt coming up how would i approach a dr. for the medical marijuana card? I feel it would help me gain an appetite
dramatically, thank you very much for your time, and info

Allison April 25, 2008 12:13 am (Pacific time)

I'm a 22 female and I have severe ADHD/learning disabilities and I am prescribed 40mg of adderall a day. It helps me focus with school work but once that effect wears off I find my mind is restless and my thoughts are everywhere, especially when trying to fall asleep. I also have no appetite while on it and food and their flavors have no appeal to me. Another trait I have had since I was little is that I could never stand a messy room and I couldn't go to sleep until my room was completely clean. I feel this could be a characteristic of OCD but it was never a concern to me because I figured cleaning was a good thing. Smoking Marijuana is illegal in NJ, where I live, but I still smoke it every day and have been for 3 years. It helps me relax, calm my mindandthoughts, have an appetite and an attraction to foods, and fall asleep. I'm graduating college soon and I have stopped for 5 days now in case I have to get drug tested for a job. In just 3 days of not smoking I lost 6 pounds! I also have been cleaning every little thing for hours straight at a time; this wasn't a problem when I smoked. If I lived in a state where medical marijuana is legal would I be considered a candidate for it?

blake February 26, 2008 7:30 pm (Pacific time)

i sufffer from sever back pains and migrians i am 18 and marijuana helps me with this could i get my medical marijuana card?

Samantha ---Needs your help please!! December 5, 2007 9:34 am (Pacific time)

Hi my name is samantha. I am currently finishing up my senior year in nursing school. I am doing a research paper right now on medical marijuana. After reading through your article and hearing your views and opinions, I was wondering if it would be possible if you would conduct an online interview with mail via email or instant messaging please. I would really like to hear more of what you have to say. Please email me at I would really appreciate this opportunity. Thank You soooo much for your time and hope to hear from you soon. Samantha

Ron November 30, 2007 7:53 am (Pacific time)

IM 23 years old, I've been suffering with migraines as long as i could remember.. (mom says from about three) marijuana helps me with the nausea and helps me control the pain.. it just really helps.i have no insurance but really want to see a doctor about this issue so if someone can maybe point me in the right diretion.. it would be greatly appreciated. thx Ron of salem,

jose October 1, 2007 7:23 pm (Pacific time)

hey i just wanted to know. would i loose weight if i smoke maijiuana? please send me an answer to :

John August 15, 2007 2:22 pm (Pacific time)

Being a long time excersise enthusiast always looking for natural ways to increase my levels of the male hormone testosterone. Many online "studies" claim that marijuana kills sperm and suppresses the production of testosterone. Age, weight, and other factors of course contribute to the decline of the hormone. But, say hypothetically your a young man early twenties, fit as a fiddle, no genetic disposition to lower levels of testosterone. Would smoking marijuana daily cause testosterone levels to decline? Thank you doctor Leveque.

Ken July 4, 2007 3:51 pm (Pacific time)

My father has a heart condition and was told from his doctor that it causes palpitations, is this true? July 2, 2007 5:26 am (Pacific time)

Do you have any Glaucoma preventatives. I.m 60 years old and I want to know -Sativa or indica- Whats the best

Curios July 1, 2007 9:08 am (Pacific time)

Doctor, What effect does marijuana have on blood pressure? Should hypertension patients be wary? Thanks

Buzzby June 30, 2007 10:36 pm (Pacific time)

My local library doesn't have a copy of "Cannabis Pharmacology". Neither does The only reference found in a Google search was in this series. Where can I get a copy?

Editor: We are preparing the artwork for the link that will lead you to that opportunity this weekend, hope to have it done yesterday- we will go back and place the link on all of the doctor's stories eventually, thanks for asking.

S>LaMrche; June 30, 2007 7:30 pm (Pacific time)

been usng it since I as 17, now 58 unbelievably, don't drink alchol now over twenty years and can't see any harmful effects from smoking it other than a cough occaisionally depending on quality, or from ingesting it in an oil-butter medium. I haven't used the "vaporizor" method. And I like the shirt D. Leveque has on in the bottom photo Are they marijuana leaves in the pattern?

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